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Corona Virus (COVID-19) Updates

Updated 19th June 2020 - Geocaching Publication - All Cache Types Including Events and CITOs


The latest Government Advice received from the Isle of Man is that from Monday 15th June 2020 any legal requirement for social distancing in our community and restrictions on gatherings have been removed.

As a result of the Government Advice, all cache types including Events and CITOs will be published when submitted for review from Monday 22nd June 2020. If you are holding an event there is no requirement to make a list of all the people who have gathered with you as there is in some countries. It is however seen as good practice and can assist with Track and Trace systems should there be an outbreak of Covid-19.

Geocaching HQ has provided the following guidance regarding Track and Trace for locations which are not required to collect cachers details:

If local rules about gatherings do not require the collection of attendee information, then no information should be required. If event organisers want to provide an optional sign-up sheet where people can provide information, should they wish to have it turned over to local authorities for purposes of contact tracing, that is fine as long as the organisers:

i) collect only the information needed to contact people;

ii) destroy the information no more than one month after the event;

iii) are clear with attendees about the optional nature of providing the data, the purpose for collection of the data (contact tracing only; not emailing them about next year's event), and who it will be shared with (no one--not even HQ--except local authorities upon request).

In an event location where gathering attendee information is not required, should organisers become aware that someone who was at their event has received a confirmed positive test for the virus, they should post an Announcement to the event page notifying attendees that one or more attendees (do not include any identifying information) to the event have tested positive for the corona virus and advising those who attended to follow local health guidance regarding monitoring themselves for symptoms and self-quarantining.

This is really great news for the Isle of Man that Events, CITOs and social gatherings can now take place on the Island. We do, as always, have to continue to monitor Government Advice, and as such restrictions may need to be reimposed should the Government demand it because of COVID-19 being reintroduced to the Island.

For this reason, please continue to keep an eye on the IOM Wiki and Manx Geocaching Facebook page, where further updates will be provided should restrictions need to be re-imposed.

The latest Government Advice for the IOM can found here.

I look forward to receiving your Events, Community Celebration Events and CITOs for publication.

Finally a very big Thank You to Alan and Angie (twoofnine) for their support in helping me keep up to date with the latest developments on the Isle of Man during the Coronavirus Pandemic and to the Isle of Man Caching Community for their support. I hope you and your family continue to stay healthy.

Updated 29th May 2020 - Geocaching Publication - All Cache Types Excluding Events and CITOs

The Government Advice in the Isle of Man is currently the "Stay Safe" phase of the COVID19 Lockdown Easement Plan. The plan advises that " ‘Stay Safe’ means that you are able to leave your house for some work, and for non-essential activities, but only providing that you take responsible steps to stay safe."

The Government have been contacted regarding how the "Stay Safe" phase can apply to Geocaching and if it would be possible to restart publishing caches on the Island with the exception of Events and CITOs.

Paul Bridson - Head of Sport and Recreation on the Island has advised that it would be possible to start publishing caches again if geocachers take the appropriate safety precautions, in particular using hand sanitiser. He said that  "individuals taking hand sanitiser to use before and after touching the containers is a very sensible one and would enable you and those participating in geocaching to undertake the activity in a safe way."

Following this advice, geocaching publication will recommence on the Isle of Man from Monday 1st June 2020 with the exception of Events and CITOs at this time. Islanders will need to follow the guidance on hand sanitiser to keep both themselves and others safe whilst out geocaching.

Other advice to follow when out caching includes:


  • If you are unwell - DO NOT GO GEOCACHING! STAY HOME! 
  • Keep your distance from other people in public.
  • Wash your hands, Wash your hands, consider wiping down touched surfaces, WASH YOUR HANDS. If you plan on wearing gloves there are some good online videos on how to safely use them - gloves and masks do not remove the need to wash your hands.
  • Please note not all cachers log at the time of their find, so treat any caches found as if they had only just been touched.
  • Take your own pens and minimise touching these and other swag items in caches -  if you touch them think about wiping them down and Wash your Hands.
  • We recommend you consider holding onto TBs for now. But if you are set on moving TBs; wash these down and maybe have a zip lock bag to hand to put them in so you can keep them separate from other items or if possible leave them in a clear bag (where number is visible without having to open) so anyone else going for them can wipe down the bag. Soft materials are not easy to clean so please make sure these are bagged as noted.
  • If you meet others at a cache please remember the social distancing rules and be kind. Note: Reviewers and HQ do not get involved in FTF (joint or otherwise) disputes.

Please note that Reviewers never review for safety. It is up to the individual themselves to deem if it is safe enough for them to go out caching and assess the risks involved.

You can find out more details regarding the Isle of Man lockdown plan by following this link.

Further updates will continue to be posted on the Isle of Man Wiki when required, e.g. If the lockdown is put in place and cache publication needs to be suspended. Event and CITO updates will also be published on the Wiki.

Please note that Geocaches can take up to 7 days for each review of the cache submission. During COVID19 this may take longer especially with reviewing 3 regions all on different lockdown phases and a rush of cache submission in England. I will however try and keep the normal service. You may now submit your caches for review, athough they will not be looked at until Monday 1st June 2020. Thank You for your understanding on this

Southerntrekker

Isle of Man, North Wales & London Reviewer

Updated 15th May 2020 - Geocaching Publication - EarthCaches & Virtual Caches.

Following discussion with the EarthCache Reviewer for the Isle of Man and also taking into consideration the Government Advice we have been given, I am pleased to advise that we are able to publish EarthCaches and Virtual Caches only on the Isle of Man. In order for the caches to be published, they must follow the the various Geocaching HQ guidelines that apply to that cache type but also meet the Isle of Man "No Touch Policy". As a reminder this states "Touching with ones hands objects and surfaces (e.g. gates and stiles), which may be touched by other members of the public should be avoided." 

If you have an EarthCache or Virtual Cache for reveiw then please submit it to the Isle of Man Queue as normal. Please note that the publication of caches, and in particular EarthCaches may take longer than normal due to the influx that have been submitted in the last few days from the UK. They will review your EarthCache as quickly as possible.

As an aside, if you have been rewarded an Adventure Lab Cache then these can also be activated as long as they meet the same "No Touch Policy". Please note that at this time no physcial bonus cache can be published for the Adventure Lab Cache at this time until the guidance from the Government has been relaxed. The Help Centre article on Adventure Labs has recently been updated and you can find more information here

Updated 12th May 2020 - Geocaching Publication - All Caches

The most recent advice received from the Isle of Man Government is to not allow any Geocaching Publication due to the Corvid 19 outbreak. The Isle of Man Governement have introduced a "No Touch Policy", which states "Touching with ones hands objects and surfaces (e.g. gates and stiles), which may be touched by other members of the public should be avoided." Geocaching has been discussed with the Government and they have said that this policy would also apply to Geocaching. At this current time whilst the Isle of Man is in the “Stay Safe” phase of recreational and leisure pursuits as opposed to the “restricted” phase, the current advice means that we continue to enforce the no publishing of all new caches until such time as these restrictions have been lifted, changed or updated.

For this reason, please do not submitted any caches for review or pre-review as these will be returned to you without being looked at.

Updated 12th May 2020 - Geocaching Pulication - Event Caches & CITOS (Cache in Trash Out Events)

In response to the ongoing situation & the directives recommending that social distancing be practised to aid in the control of COVID-19, the following has been implemented :-

  • Events/CITOs will not be Published in the Isle of Man until further notice.
  • In consideration of social distancing, the UK and IOM Reviewers have decided to archive all events/CITOs happening in a rolling month until such time as social distancing guidelines are rescinded.
  • If you are an Event/CITO host and you wish to cancel your activity - please post an Announcement log (to inform your Will Attends) and then Archive your cache page.
  • If you are an Event/CITO host and you wish to reschedule your activity - please contact your Reviewer (via their Profile Page) and request your page be Retracted/Unpublished.

To view Geocaching HQ's blog post regarding COVID-19 please visit here

To view Geocaching HQ updates on the COVID-19 please visit here

Table of Contents

Reviewer for the Isle of Man -  Southerntrekker

Guidelines

The Guidelines and Help Center contain a lot of information about general cache placement and what you need to know. The information in this Wiki is based on these guidelines as applied to the Isle of Man.

 


 Where you need specific permission or where caching may not be allowed

These are mostly environmentally sensitive areas such as nature reserves and Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI). Caches may be allowed with permission from the landowner or may not be allowed at all. 

Using map overlays

 The map overlays can be downloaded and opened in Google Earth which is a free download for a PC and also as apps for Apple and Android.

Local Nature Reserves

Manx Wildlife Trust. There is no agreement with the MWT to place caches so you should contact them directly and enquire if it's allowed or not. Some reserves are closed to the public so caches won't be allowed there anyway. Please visit their website for a complete list of reserves.

Click here to download a map of the reserves which can be opened in Google Earth.

Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI)

These protected areas are scheduled by the Manx Government. Caches must have permission from the landowner before they can be placed in an ASSI.

Isle of Man Government map.

Click the  button on the left of the map then scroll down to Protected Areas. ASSI's appear in yellow on the map. Clicking the area on the map will display the ASSI name.

Click here to download a map of the ASSI's that you can open in Google Earth.


Department of Environment, Food & Agriculture (DEFA)

The DEFA manage the natural environment of the Isle of Man including woodlands, forests and nature reserves. They are very supportive of geocaching but you must apply for permission before placing any caches. Full details of the application process may be found in the Geocaching Association of Great Britain's landowner database.

Click here to download a map of the DEFA forests and woodlands that you can open in Google Earth.


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